Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver - Palma's fortress


The mighty Castell de Bellver immediately catches the eye of visitors to the Mallorcan island capital of Palma when they arrive by cruise ship. Visible from afar, the fortress sits 112 meters above sea level. Surrounded by dense pine forest, the castle is located three kilometers from the city center.

Castell de Bellver - seen from the cruise ship

Castell de Bellver - seen from the cruise ship


It's hard to believe: Between 1229 and 1715 Mallorca was a kingdom under the crown of the House of Aragón. At the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century Mallorca experienced a splendid time under the rule of King James II. Maritime trade flourished, Mallorcan seafarers passed the Strait of Gibraltar and advanced far south along the African Atlantic coast.

Royal Palace of Almudaina

Royal Palace of Almudaina


Castell de Bellver's long history

The La Seu cathedral and the Castell de Bellver were built as representative buildings in Palma during that heyday. While the cathedral was being built for several centuries, the construction of the fort was completed after nine years. From 1309 it served as a protective castle and residence and in later years temporarily as a prison. It was even used as the site of a mint in the 19th century. The city history museum of Palma has been housed in the walls since 1936. In addition, the open courtyard is used for concerts and cultural events.

Palma's sea of ​​houses with the La Seu Cathedral


Palma's sea of ​​houses with the La Seu Cathedral


Castell de Bellver


Castell de Bellver 


Castell de Bellver - a circular fortress

What is striking about Castell de Bellver is its circular layout. Around the circular inner courtyard, the arsenal, a two-story, column-supported rotunda was built in two competing architectural styles. The lower floor was built in the Romanesque and the upper floor in the Gothic style. The fortress is surrounded by a four meter wide moat. Three of the four observation towers are integrated into the facility, a fourth tower is outside the fort.

Castell de Bellver
Castell de Bellver
Castell de Bellver
The armory of the Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver - Castle of the beautiful view

By the way: In the Catalan language, Castell de Bellver means “castle with a beautiful view”. And the view is terrific. Visitors to the fortress enjoy wonderful views of Palma, the surrounding Tramuntana mountains and the sea.

Castell de Bellver - view of Palma

Castell de Bellver - view of Palma


A trip to the Castell de Bellver is not time consuming. The fort is therefore not a stopgap. Two hours are appropriate for the visit. The castle and the view it offers are a “must” for all visitors to the island's capital.

The way to the fort

For the ascent to the Castell de Bellver we take a taxi. It's quick and not tiring. The descent is on foot through the Parque del Bosque del Castillo de Bellver. The stairs and path through the park are in good condition. Benches invite you to sit down. The view of Palma's marina is very varied. And the cruise ships greet you from both piers. From the bus station Plaça Gomila we take one of the bus lines 3, 20 or 46 back to the center.

Cruise ship at the Estacio Maritima num. 2

Cruise ship at the Estacio Maritima num. 2


Visitors who prefer to use public transport to get there should exit the bus at Plaça Gomila or Av. Gabriell Rocca, walk across to the Parque del Bosque del Castillo de Bellver and climb the stairs for about a kilometer to the castle. A landmark at the beginning of the ascent is the Chapel of San Alonso Rodriguez.

Chapel de San Alonso Rodriguez

Chapel de San Alonso Rodriguez


At the car park below the fort, a café invites those visitors who feel thirsty and hungry after visiting the fort.